6 Common Mistakes while creating eBooks

Often times some eBooks are rejected for some common mistakes that can be easily avoided. If you too plan to publish an eBook, make sure you avoid the ones mentioned in here.

Rejection for any author can be heartbreaking and if the reasons for the rejection are related to the content, maybe you can introspect and rewrite some. But if the rejection is not based on content but due to some very avoidable mistake, then that can be very frustrating and make you pull your hair with the thought that ‘if only I knew that’ or ‘if only someone told me so’. Well, we are telling you, so you do not get your eBook rejected due to common mistakes.

1. Capitalization:

The most basic mistake could be using capitals in the wrong places of misusing capitalizations, especially in the headings and the title of your books. For example ALL CAPS may not be appropriate for the title, something like The Art of War is appropriate use of capitals, but The art of war or The Art Of War or THE ART OF WAR is not, which means articles, prepositions and conjunctions should not be in capital while the first alphabet of each letter in the title must be capital.

2. Image Quality:

EBooks are all digital media and with today’s eBook readers, tablets and devices resolutions play a great role in the overall user experience. EBooks are hence required to be crisp and clear and while text is scalable without distorting, images need to be high quality and minimum of 72 dpi. For most ePUBs, the cover page the image needs to be the size of US Letter page size of 8.5 x 11 inches, which translates to 612 x 792 pixels @ 72 dpi. If any of the images including the cover page are found to have distortions or pixilation or blurriness, your eBook will be rejected.

3. Wrong order of Heading and conflicting NCX:

Your headings need to be in the order of 1,2,3. If you do not understand what it is, you can simply check the presets on the top right side of a word document and see the tabs with AaBbCcDd that have the description below them stating Heading 1, Heading 2, and Heading 3. The way the sizes go from large to small is the way your book should contain headings if any, so as to know the chronology of text. For instance if you have a main topic, a sub topic and a sub section, you would be better off following the H1, H2, H3 styling, like in the example below. Any difference in this pattern may result in the NCX giving errors and your book will be rejected.




NCX is like the table of content or index of your book, albeit for the eReaders. It is the means by which the reader will navigate from chapter to chapter and use it as the index for the eBook. A text index is not required and is irrelevant for the eBook, since the ePUBs you use will generate the NCX on their own based on the Headings you have given in your books. Heading 1 will be the Chapter or Page title and will show up on the Table of Content in the eBook. Hence the emphasis on H1, H2, H3 styling. Any difference in that and the NCX won’t pick the correct topic to place in the table of content and hence impact the reader’s navigation and due to this, it results in rejections.

4. Links for personal promotions:

Don’t try to self promote while you are trying to sell your eBooks as some of the ePUBs may not like it. Including your personal email, urls, social network links etc on the cover of the book will get it rejected if the ePUBs have such a policy in place.

5. Issues with Metadata:

Metadata is the text that describes the book and its contents for the digital media. It will also show up in searches when someone  searches that on the internet. The cover page and the Metadata should have the same matter or else it will get rejected. Even things like mismatch in the author name wherein the cover page shows J.K. Rowling but the metadata has Joanne Rowling, even though rest of the data is the same, it will be rejected. Again any incomplete metadata too will result in the same thing. Missing any credits, subtitle, and contributions etc that are on the cover page but not in the metadata is not accepted.

6. Page Numbers:

Do not give page numbers for the topics in the table of content, since as mentioned in # 3, NCX does it for you. The reason is pretty simple, you may put Chapter 3 at page 75 as per your book, however different readers have different screen sizes and different font sizes, moreover the zoom levels that reader uses also dictates the amount of text that appears on a page. Due to all these factors, the NCX will show up relevant pages as per the eReaders features and the page numbers will show up accordingly. For one reader Chapter 3 may be on page 80 and for other it may be page 90 or 95 if they really zoom into it. Hence DO NOT give page numbers in your eBooks.

Though, technical sounding, these things do matter as the overall user experience is affected by these technicalities and hence the ePUBs are mindful of these facts. These are some common mistakes that can have your eBooks rejected. Now you know, so you can avoid them and stay away from rejections for your eBooks.

E-books in the classroom: How real can it be?

With the rapid rise in eBooks and digital publishing, classrooms can benefit by this digital phenomenon too. But what are the things to keep in mind before digitizing our education?

With almost everything being digitized these days and the rapid rise in popularity and userfriendliness of the eBooks, EBooks in classrooms can be a great way to take the education to next level and the future of it maybe lies in digitizing our classrooms. Come to think of it, digital classrooms means, there is no need to carry multiple books for subjects. Yes, you may still want to take notes and nothing beats the ease of study and understanding that a handwritten note can bring, but the reference material from which the notes are made can be digital.


There will be always connected classrooms; the books can be interactive as not just diagrams and images, but entire videos and various interactive elements and on the fly graphics can be incorporated seamlessly in the eBooks. The other factor in favor in of using eBooks in classrooms is the availability of low-priced eBook readers and tablets. It is not a recurring cost and while the technology would require to be updated, but really for reading eBooks, the upgrade can be once in 3 years or so. Also the eco-friendliness of the eBooks cannot be overlooked in today’s global warming scenario. The books available will be cheaper too if they are made digital. The biggest expense that is printing of multiple copies of textbooks is just out of the window in case of eBooks, and they are more affordable too. The updating of the curriculum can be much simpler and streamlined if made digital. Just like you download update to an app, you download the latest curriculum.

However not everything is as simple and straightforward as it seems to implement the digital books in a classroom. There are certain concerns like digitizing the entire existing curriculum across all grades, the problem of theft of the eBooks or tablets, issues with constant WiFi connectivity among others. The other aspect being the battery usage and charging possibilities as most products we know have struggled with the battery life and at times need frequent charging. Again, portablechargers can work here, but then that is an added expense. So really how can we get to a point where there are eBooks in classrooms for all and sundry? Here are some ways.

Gradual Digitization with the support of the Government’s Education Department:

The entire curriculum may not be digitize all of a sudden and implemented, as it is well known fact that it is practically not possible. However the process needs to start sooner rather than later. The Government needs to get involved, the Education ministry in particular to take necessary steps towards digitizing the existing education system. There are schools and colleges where this is actually happening but they are few.

Discounted distribution of eBook readers or tablets; Portable charging solutions or longer battery life for the eReaders:

There can be some sort of tie-in with various companies manufacturing the readers and tabs and there can be either special devices for students that are low in costs or there is some discount offered on the existing line of products for students. The educational institutes can work towards it. Also the companies need to improve the battery life of their products or offer some portable charging solutions along with their devices.

Utilize the full potential of technology and the internet:

The use of the eBook readers or tablets should not be merely limited to the courses; instead all the research work can be done through them. There can be live classrooms, cloud backup of the notes and course material or research that the student has done so that the content is available anytime anywhere to the students. The possibilities are endless and there can be a course structure decided that makes the most of the ‘good parts’ of the internet.

Teachers publishing their individual notes and topics for the subjects they have in class:

Just like the teacher would give his/her notes in the classroom when the regular paper books are used, for a digital classroom experience too there can be a similar thing, where in the teacher can publish the notes online in digital form and is available for all to download and read via their e-readers. This leads to more teacher-student interaction and further use of the digital technology.

Open an eBook library on the lines of the existing one:

Just like you have a usual library in your campus now, once the eBooks takeover, the shelves need not be empty. You can still have the paperback books for those who would need a break from the digital world and do it the old-fashioned way. Also in the library just like you rent out books, you can do so for the eBooks, where in the student can request a title for their e-reader for a certain amount of time, once the time period expires, the book is no-longer available for reading on the e-reader. There can be a virtual library too where in students can download directly from the library.

Make less internet intensive curriculum:

To overcome the issue of constant WiFi, the books can be less internet-intensive wherein the topics that matter and need to be covered are available in the offline avatar of the eBooks. There can be add-ons or only certain features that may require the internet connection. This reduces the load on the WiFi in the campuses. Also there can be certain areas that are WiFi ‘Disabled’, another way of saving some much valued bandwidth.

Implementing the eBooks for classrooms is very much possible with the given state of technology and internet penetration in almost all aspects of our lives. If anything, it needs certain amount of thought and planning and there needs to be a steady process of working towards digitizing our classrooms.

Great Apps for Writers

With technology reaching a stage where it is today, there are apps for all sorts of things. So why should you, as a writer be left out? Here are some great apps for writers.

There are apps that monitor your diet, your heart beats, and they even mange your daily schedules. They do the most mundane tasks like waking you up on time, to the most complex like tracking your position and giving you relevant information regarding that place and things to do depending on the time of day, and also switching between various device functions as per your requirements without you having to even look at your devices. The possibilities of apps are endless and when there are great apps around, why should you as a writer miss out on apps that actually help improve your writing or even boost your creativity.

There are some great apps for writers that not only enable you to write and provide great features for drafting and composing your content, but there are those which even give your creativity some much needed boost when you are going through a block. Let have a look at some of the better ones:

1. Pages:

A paid app on iOS, Pages app, allows you to type while on the go using your iPad, iPhone or even iPod Touch. You can get in content from even Microsoft Word, pull content over the cloud and also save your work over iCloud. It autosaves content and hence you need not worry about your work being saved or accidentally lost as it will never be lost or you won’t be missing any files with Pages. It costs $9.99.

2. Evernote:

This is among the best note taking apps found across platforms and operating systems. This is a free app and has features like audio notes as well as voice recording. It syncs your work across devices on which you have Evernote installed, so you need not worry about transferring and organizing your work.

3. Advanced English Dictionary and thesaurus:

For 99 cents you get probably the largest collection of words, meanings and a guide to get your diction right. This app comes with host of features to bookmark favorite words, learn synonyms and even how to use them in context of a sentence.

4. Inspiring Quotes:

As the name suggests, this app has collections of quotes on success, motivation, persistence, and lot more. This is a free app on the apple app store.

5. Story Tracker:

At a cent under $8 this app is aimed at letting you keep track of where and how your work is circulating. It allows you keep track of the work that you have submitted to various publishers and even allows to manage the list of markets you have your work sent too. It sorts your inputs based on genres, editors, dates and more. This is a great way to organize and track the progress and promotions of your books.

6. Plot Generator:

This is a great tool to have when you are looking for ideas to take your existing work forward or just need something new to start with. This app focuses on the 4 parts of a story – Premise, Detail, Complication, and the end Objective. It however randomizes these 4 aspects and gives you 4 different unrelated situations that you can fill the details and weave a unique story. It really gets the creative horses going. It has an ad supported free version that you can upgrade for $0.99.

7. Writing Prompts:

Similar to Plot Generator, this app gives prompts for taking your story forward. Available for free this has prompts for various genres ranging from crime, events, fantasy, science, history and more. You can even buy additional sets of prompts for $0.99. The way it works is it gives a random question in a particular genre and prompts you to get an answer, and thus helps to take the story forward. It gets really interesting once you get the hang of it, and all this is while you are on the go.

8. Scrivener:

Writers probably love this one. This is however not a mobile app and is available for Mac as of now, though there is a mobile version in development. This works like a pin-board for your ideas and you can just put up what’s on your mind. This also allows not just ideas but your research work or any content to be organized and managed for use at a later stage.

There you have it, some of the better apps that help you as a writer with your writing and content management as well as some that give you a boost when you are creatively stuck. Technology is there for you to take advantage of and continue writing even when on the go so keep writing, keep exploring.

How check your book for Facts and avoid accidental Plagiarism?

Your book needs to be checked for the authenticity of the content and facts. Here are some great ways of fact checking your books and staying away from plagiarism.

Being a writer has its share of thrills and joys and also its fair share of responsibilities. You are known for your words and hence these words have to be checked for all sorts of inaccuracies and facts. Even if you are a writer writing a fictionalized account of something that happened in reality, people can often perceive it to be the real thing.

The reasons are many folds and for one our minds process information that is given to it much faster than the information that it has to grasp on its own. So if your book said ‘XYZ jumped from Point A to B’, people will follow that quickly instead of where your book tells them that ‘we know where XYZ jumped’, because here people have to process the information themselves. So you need to make sure you write the correct information. As far as your facts are straight there should be no reason for worry, but otherwise it can severely hamper your credibility as a writer and if there are multiple sources for the same then it can even be viewed as plagiarism. You need to safeguard your writings against plagiarism as well as fact check every word you put in and here is how to do it:

Give credit when in doubt:

If you have a piece of information that is based someone else’s research or is also published by others among your peers or in the past, give credit to the source or the original author. Use of quotations or even mentioning the name of the source is a great way to stay away from plagiarism. Also giving the source adds to your credibility of being a fair writer. However remember not each and everything needs a source to be mentioned, for instance the facts that are in the public domain and pretty obvious need not be cited, like the first man to land on the moon or the date and place where it happened etc. These are well known facts and do not need citation. Also legends, myths do not need sources as there is no concrete evidence to them in any case.

Do not change the essence of the content while paraphrasing:

While writing it may not always be possible to use the quotes as they are and at times you paraphrase. However do make sure that while paraphrasing the meaning or even the slightest of essence is not changed as it can really come back to hit you hard on your reputation. For instance something like “Robert Downey Jr. to Iron Man is like Google is to search” shouldn’t end up sounding “Robert Downey Jr. is like Google”. Often times erred paraphrasing really messes things up.

Note every possible source and cross reference:

One incident can have multiple sources and at times certain details will differ from source to source. It is advisable to cross reference such details and only after thorough evaluation publish anything.

Check Online:

Internet is full of facts and also fakes, make sure you scout for the right sources. Wikipedia is something you can look at as even though the site has data entered by people, it has thorough moderation and slightest of doubts are taken care of and the content is by and large or entirely error free. Also if you are writing about certain entity, product, company etc, they may have their own website too for you to cross reference.

Get it from the horse’s mouth:

When in doubt, try to approach the person or source. Scout for ways to contact the concerned person via email or telephone or if possible meet in person for 30 minutes to an hour and confirm your doubts and get the facts straight out from there.

Get a second opinion:

Once compiled, give your content to an editor or friend or someone who is knowledgeable on the subject and can give a second opinion about it. This way certain errors that you yourself may have overlooked, can be brought to light. Also if all is fine, it gives you the confidence to go ahead and publish.


If you are writing or re-imagining something that has actually happened, it is best to give a disclaimer at the start saying so. For instance the movie ‘Argo’ was based on the real-life events but was altered and a lot of things changed to suit the tastes and likes of the movie-goers while still conveying the events that took place. But it was not a lesson in history. Make sure you mention that the events even though based on true story, are altered and re-imagined for various reasons.

There a thin line between facts and fictionalized facts, and if your work that is aimed to publish facts is viewed to be even slightly fictionalized it can affect your reputation as a writer badly. Always make sure the sources are reliable and the facts accurate, this way you can make a factual plagiarism free book.

List of some Top Awards for Indie Authors

Being a writer means looking out for the Pulitzer and Booker prize, but what about you Independent Authors? Are there awards that recognize the work of Indie Authors and give their due? Read on.

There are rewards for being a writer, you get to express yourself, tell your stories to the world, create fantastical worlds and draw people to them, write to create awareness, the list is endless. Along with these rewards come awards and recognition. Pulitzer Prize, Booker Prize, Hugo Awards and more, work as an additional motivating factor to raise the bar for you and for others. But what about independent authors who strive equally hard to compile a book, market it, publish it and all this by themselves without the backing of big publications?

To acknowledge the efforts and hard work of indie authors there are some awards that are specifically held to recognize these efforts and appreciate their stories. So if you are an indie author, you should be looking out for these:

Writer’s Digest Self Pub Book Awards: Sponsored by Writer’ Digest themselves, these provide 9 open genres under which independent writers can submit their books. The winner gets $3000 and other 9 runner ups get $1000 each. Along with the cash, the winner gets the opportunity to get 10 copies of his/her book to be submitted to major publishing houses. If that is not enough you also get a paid trip to the Writer’s Digest Conference in New York City and access to distribution channels. No wonder it is so coveted.

B.R.A.G. Medallion: These awards are founded for the sole purpose of finding the best among the rest in the Indie Author category. Their main purpose is to provide the much needed encouragement and recognition to the self-published authors and the verdict is taken by a group of readers after thorough review. B.R.A.G. stands for Book Readers Appreciation Group.

Next Generation Indie Book Awards: This has interesting perks over and above the joy of winning in itself. The winners get $1500 and over and above the cash part; there is a chance to get the book reviewed by an agent that can potentially lead to foreign and even film rights for your book. This is for the top 60 books. You will also be attending their Gala Awards in New York and a chance to feature in their catalog that goes to numerous readers and book buyers.

Independent Publisher Book Awards: Mainly for writers from North America, these awards are on for over 18 years now and have 75 categories for authors to submit their works.

Foreword Book of the Year: Established as an effort to draw the attention of traditional book readers towards the efforts of indie authors, the BOTY as it is often called has a panel of readers, librarians, and book sellers as jury and the cash component for the grand prize is $1500. You can submit your books under some 20 plus categories.

So there you have it, some awards that matter and that make a difference for you as an indie author. Keep writing, keep publishing, and strive to get your due recognition as there are platforms now that appreciate your form of authorship as well.

How to market your eBook through Social Media?

Social media has grown as a platform to not only interact and connect but even for promotions and marketing. Here is how you can use the power of Social Media to market your eBooks.

One of the biggest boons of the internet revolution has been the rise of social media and it has not only opened avenues for meeting long lost friends, making new ones, connecting to people all over the world but has also led to easier marketing and promotion of various stuff be it personal or professional. It is much easier to get a decent amount of recognition if your social media life is in order and you know the right kind of ways to make your content viral. In this post we will look at ways you can promote your eBooks on social media.

There is a plethora of social media options available to you today as a writer; Facebook, Twitter, Google +, StumbleUpon and the works. But as a writer to get your work to reach out some work better than the others.

Facebook is a widely popular platform and while it has millions of users, the thing is there are probably people on it already and there are communities and groups already with a huge amount of following of people and at times for a new writer it may be difficult to convince them to follow or like you. However it doesn’t mean you cannot get a foot hold in there, but it will take some time and you need to keep at it.

Twitter is a different platform than Facebook, and while you can promote links and posts it is more like an open platform and hence at times, it can be advantageous to a writer if he can manage to get the buzz going and get followers as anyone can start following you and thus it helps your posts to go viral.

Google + is a relatively newer platform, though not brand new, it has been around for around 2 years now, but has got a good number or users worldwide. The other thing is it is from Google and with all things Google, being on this platform does help to feature in Google searches as an author but however does not guarantee your posts to feature among the top searches unless your content has gone viral and has substantial traffic. There are ways to do that too. You can expand your circle and add likeminded people, join communities, build communities and spread your content wider. There is also Google Authorship that helps a lot, and you can find the details here. Google + can be of great help to you in your eBook promotion endeavours.

So, how can you use Social Media to your advantage to promote your eBooks?

While all platforms are different, there are certain basics you can follow for most and here is what you should do on most platforms to promote your eBook better and get followers:

Build First, Spread Later:

Be it Facebook or Google +, you should concentrate on building your audience first, before you can bombard them with your eBook trivia and anecdotes and look to promote it through them and make it viral. It is good to first get a buzz going and get people to follow your networks. To do this, initially spread the word through your already existing network and post some teaser information about your upcoming eBook, just enough to get them excited and interested. You can post a chapter of your eBook on your networks and build on that. Once you have followers you can use it to promote your eBook better. Post regular updates on the release date, publication cycle, how it all started, how the idea came about, what’s new or different about it etc.


While you are posting and promoting, remember to interact too. Encourage people to leave comments for your posts and reply to the relevant ones. Also encourage interaction by chats at certain time of the day, when people can interact with you about your books, your work, past work, future work etc. This will help people relate to you easily. Remember the times when for a reader interacting with the author was only when there was a book launch, some bookstore opening, some conference to promote the book. The opportunities were limited. But now thanks to Social Media, this is not so. If you use this platform well, you have ample opportunities to build a strong community of readers and they too would be able to relate to you. When your book comes out, they can be more receptive to it as you have interacted with them.

Be Regular:

Once you start your posting routine, be regular with it. If you have something new to tell about your book, then make sure the frequency is not too haywire. A little bit of discrepancies in consistency is Ok, but there should not be days when you are posting and interacting for 15 days straight and then for the next 10 days you are just nowhere to be seen. If you have to be away from your social media pages, then it is better to mention it, so your followers know you will be back. It helps your following to not dip suddenly and there is still that anticipation.

Contribute and appreciate others too:

While going on a promoting spree it is very natural to overlook and pause to have a look around at other people’s work. However it always helps if you come across something interesting by someone else, even on an unrelated topic, but you feel it can be interesting for your followers; do not hesitate to post it. Also it

Tips for marketing your books: Part 2

Marketing your eBooks is an evolving and creative process and your imagination is only the limit. In this second part we see more ways to promote your eBooks effectively and on a budget.

We did a post recently that covered how to promote and market your self-published eBook on a budget and in case you have missed it, you can find it here. In this post we shall see further avenues in which you can market your eBooks well and compliment the earlier strategies to promote your eBooks effectively. In doing all this, we will make sure that the entire process is budget friendly and cost effective.

Some of the tips in this post can work well for your new projects, so in case you are already done with your current book and looking to promote it, try to implement some of these tips too, while certain tips can auger well to keep in mind the next time you write a book.

1. Looks do matter:

At Papyrus Editor, we did a post on the importance of good eBooks covers that can be found here.  The human kind is visual in nature and no matter what we say, the first of point of contact is the visuals, be it your cover art, promotional material, social media posts etc. Make good logos, cover art, posters, etc and not just the graphics or colors, but also the fonts, typography used and make sure it’s easy to understand yet attractive and eye-catching.

2. Get a few endorsements:

Another great way of promoting your eBook is to get endorsements from people who matter in your niche or influencing personalities whose word may count. This can be tricky but you need to dig deep and try and get contacts of such people if you personally do not know anyone. If they are not from your niche make sure they are popular and considered intellectually well regarded, and try and get a word of recommendation from them that you can put in the summary or mention in your book or in the promotional material something like “Xyz’s Book is a Must Read – Mr. Influencer”

3. Try to be an authority in your niche:

Try and establish your authority in your choice of topic, genre, or niche. Establish yourself as someone who knows what they are writing on. Engage in social media communities, talk about your niche and so on. Try to be the ‘First’ or the ‘Best’ in what you write about. It is a long shot, but start working towards it from your current book so your future books will benefit from it.

4. Focus on timeless content:

You may have already written and completed your current book and must have adopted the promotional tactics mentioned in here and the previous post. It doesn’t make sense to change your content at this stage but for future works, keep the content ‘time-proof’, write in a tone that is evergreen and can go on for long term. The other thing is being an indie-author your work may take considerable amount of time to get recognition and at times if you right on topics concerning current scenarios or in a tone that is current to a particular time frame, it may be outdated before it reaches the potential readers.

5. Think of how your book is different and pitch it:

Try to highlight the aspect of your book that makes it different from the others in your niche. There may be something unique in your way of writing or kind of storytelling; focus on that. It could your way of pacing the story or your narration or the way your characters interact with each other or their personalities anything, that is unique or you feel is your ‘signature’ style, promote it an pitch it across various marketing platform and mention it in the promotional stuff.

6. Think of it as a platform to express not to get rich quick:

Not every indie author gets rich quick and features in the breakout books of various eBookstores. Keep this is mind and don’t write from this mindset. Instead focus on it as a medium that allows you to express your creativity and as a medium that gives freedom for your stories and thoughts to reach out to the masses. If you are honest in your approach and have a good story, success will follow, albeit, with the help of proper marketing and promotions.

Marketing and promotions are a constantly evolving thing, while certain tried and tested approaches work, it does not harm to be different, think out of the box and try something new, after all you are looking at eBooks, self-publishing and all that which is in itself a relatively newer trend, so let your creativity unleash and think of newer ways to promote you book over and above the one’s mentioned in here. Happy publishing and promoting!!!

Google Authorship : How it works and why it helps

As an aspiring author, it is great to be able to establish your authority for your content to prevent plagiarism at the same be known for your work. Google Authorship does that for you and more.

So you are an author who writes good content and have published your work online or plan to do so; in either case you know that in this age of internet, you need to be visible in the searches and what better than Google search, the widest used search engine globally to get featured. But then there are perils of the internet that you must be aware of and a major issue being plagiarism or copying of your content by someone else. It may so happen that someone else might just lift off your content and publish it in their name and for all you know, their work may rank higher than yours and is more popular. So how do you stop all this and become an authority? Google Authorship will do it for you. Let have a look at all the hows, whys and whats on the topic.

Google Authorship: What is it?

Well, simply put Google Authorship is about Authors who are recognized by Google and are verified for their content. You must have seen that certain results on Google search come with a picture of the author and also mentions the number people in their circles and more by this author along with the description of the content that is on display. Those are Google Authors.

Why Google Authorship came into being?

The idea for Google Authorship came into being with the idea of allowing authors to be able to establish their authority on their content and prevent the copy-cats. Also this encourages quality content, since once your name and picture is associated with the content, you as an author will be much more responsible too. This further improves the quality of the content. Other factor is with the latest updates to Google’s search algorithms; it has become more and more social media oriented and also ranks the content based on social media presence of the author as well as the content, since that is also a way of gauging the popularity of the content. With the internet becoming as big as it is today, filtering the content is a challenge and this way Google can show better and more relevant search results.

Why Google Authorship Works for you?

Google ranks content and then it shows in the searches, we all know that. But now it even ranks the author based on the content and its social media presence. The more your content is shared, the higher it is ranked and this in turn helps you, the author to rank higher too based on your content and establishes you as an authority.

From the content point of view, Google links the content with the author too, instead of merely the site it is published on. Where this is helpful is, when you do a lot of guest posts or have multiple sites where you post your content. This way all this content is linked to your profile and you as an author are the authority of it all, further improving your credibility.

The other thing is when content is displayed with the picture of the author; it improves the chances of it being clicked. Also in a page full of results, it is easier on the eyes to filter the ones with a face in front of a result thus improving visibility and further improving click through rates or CTR. Content that is claimed by an author is viewed much more than unclaimed content.

How to become a Google Author?

Well, it goes without saying that you need to have a Google Account, Google+ to be precise for being a Google Author. The good thing is that chances are you already have a Gmail Account, and with Google’s ‘one login for all accounts’ philosophy it is just breeze to get a Google Plus account. Just go to your Gmail account and look out for the ‘+’ sign to the top right corner alongside your name. That will take you to the Google Plus page and you just need to complete your profile and you are done. Make sure to use your real name or the name with which you post your content everywhere and a clear picture showing your face.

Verify Link TO your Profile

Once you have setup a Google plus account, you will need to link all your content with your profile. This can be simply done by adding a link back to your profile that tells Google about you wanting to link your content with your Google+ profile. For this simply go to you Google + profile page and copy the URL that you see till the long number that it will have. That long number is your Google + ID. You should have something like this in your URL https://plus.google.com/1040300273498XXXXXXXX. Copy this and paste this in the ‘About Author’ paragraph at the end of your posts along with ?rel=author tag at the end, so your URL should be https://plus.google.com/1040300273498XXXXXXXX?rel=author

Verify Link FROM your Profile

Once you have established a link from your content to your Google+ profile, you now need a link from your profile to your content. For this go to your Google + edit profile option and scroll down till you find ‘Contributor To’ section and add the URLs of all the websites you post your content on. This is the final confirmation for Google that you are the authority as it will cross verify the links from and to your profile.

In simple words if your Google+ profile has a URL of a site where your content is posted and that site too has a URL to your Google+ profile as shown in the step before, then it completes the chain and you are established as the author and you will be able to see your Picture, Your Cirlces, More by Author links in searches where your content is displayed on Google Searches.

Verify Your Authorship

Once you have completed the above steps, verify if all is well with the authorization and verification. Just go to any site where your content is posted and copy the URL of that page and go to http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/richsnippets and paste your URL here and click preview. If all is done correctly you should see a green box at the bottom showing ‘Verified’. Well, if it is so, you are all set.

How to make the most of Google Authorship?

So now that you are all done with the linking of your profile and establishing your authority, you need to make the most of your authority to improve your ranking. For this, post good quality content and add links of those sites on your Google+ and also other social media. Interact with people on Google+ and build your Circle and followers and contribute to relevant communities. Also guest post on various credible sites to further improve your credibility and link back to your Google+ page and vice-versa as shown in steps above.

Want to tell a story? Collaborate and self-publish

Telling a story is an art and at times one has a concept in mind and the other can put it in words. Collaborative story telling is on the rise among the e-pubs and people of all age groups contribute to it.


Story telling is often considered an art and not all can boast of being good story tellers. Even the best of authors at times falter to convey a message in their writing while at times a new comer can build a world so strong that it encompasses boundaries and becomes a global rage. Why this happens? Stories are actually tricky to convey. Well, maybe because at times certain stories go well with certain audiences while others just do not relate to it. Maybe, but another reason is that at times the mindset and thought process of a single person is not good enough to convey a story. This is where collaborative story telling comes in to play.

While telling a story, at times the writer or creator is so engrossed in his world that it becomes difficult for him to simplify certain things, or for him the world exists and certain things are taken for granted, but for the audience those little things here and there make all the difference. Of course there are exceptions to these, but in case of an indie author, it may sometimes backfire to go solo.

With self-publishing or digital publishing it is easier than ever before to collaborate on a story and not just with your peers, even with people from various age groups to get the feel of the situations from different point of view. For instance if a young indie author is embarking on a writing journey describing the ups and downs of life, he may be benefitted by taking inputs from say someone who is middle-aged or much older as they have seen life from that stage in their lives, which the author can only assume and imagine. It often adds the sense of reality to the fiction and that little thing can make all the difference.

Earlier this year the website Wired had a carried a report on a father -son-son trio who collaborated on a fantasy children’s book Nimpentoad that was self-published and gained quite a following and popularity. The family has since attended various public speaking events and interviews for magazines and the book is among the bestsellers on Amazon under children’s book category.

While we do not know how the actual collaboration took place for Nimpentoad, one can get the idea of how collaborative story telling can be effective. The children may have the idea to build a fantasy world; they would not be able to really put the whole world in words for the readers to understand their story. This is where maybe their father helps out to put the idea in to words. One has the concept or idea that is appealing to their peers but cannot put it to words to show it to the world, the other may be able to put it in a story form.

Collaborative story telling has gained much prominence and is often used even in schools to get the students explore their creativity. A few sentences are written on the board and then the students one by one keep adding to the story with 2-3 lines, thus taking it forward. Similar practice is followed in self-published books too. There are various ways in which one can collaborate, people from different fields can collaborate and write book on a specialized topic, there can be fiction coming from people of different cultures, with each member adding elements of mythology and fantasy from their cultures and so on. There can be endless possibilities of telling a story by collaborating and for self-published authors it is often a good bet.


How to make an Awesome Audio Book for FREE

Audio books are popular now and if you are an indie author looking to convert your book into an audio book, this post will surely help. PS: It’s not even expensive.

A book has undergone a wide range of transformation and has embraced technology at every step. From the simple text and pages to the graphics and illustrations to the classy designer pages it has seen it all. Yet the medium stays. No matter how much technology evolves, the Book is here to stay.

However, it can be said that the book is ‘mutated’ or morphed into a much more powerful medium by embracing latest technologies. You have digital books or eBooks that are ‘anytime-anywhere-any device’ kind of a thing or the ‘interactive digi-books’ where in audio and video is incorporated along with text; you name it and a book has seen it all. One such aspect is an audio book which is more popular than most other forms as it allows for sort of hands-free reading so to speak. It allows the readers to consume a book even when they cannot see or hold the book for various reasons. So if you are an indie author consider this medium as a selling point for your book. If you are promoting your book, consider throwing in a copy of audio book with your eBook entirely free or at least have certain highlights of your book in the form of an audio book to boost its appeal.


So, how to make an audio book? Well, it can be time consuming for starters, but it is fun and did I mention “FREE” to make. Let us have a look:


1. Audio recording software: Firstly you will need to get your voice in the digital format and for that you will need audio recording software. Before you start scampering through your PC’s default sound recorders, hold on; instead go for a program called ‘Audacity’ which is free and has much better controls and options for you to be able to record, cut, copy, mix, edit and save your voice samples in.

2. Recording: Once you are done with the software setup, you would need a microphone to record your voice, pick up any from a local vendor, and plug it into your PCs. Pick a part of your book to record at first. Don’t try to get to all your pages at one go, record one page at a time or even less and see how it goes and hear how it sounds.

3. Voice Acting: Remember the good old days of radio? The dramas and series used to intrigue people and get them hooked, the reason being the different characterization brought to the fore by the excellent voice acting and this same should be the case with your audio books. Try giving each character a distinct voice, and in any case if all your characters have the same voice or similar sound your book may feel like a speech rather than a story. Get a few friends to record along if you are not good at voice modulations.

4. Sounds to brighten things up: Just like voice modulation, try adding background sounds to your book to make the story more relatable. Actual sound of birds chirping in the morning is always better than a simple voice narration stating “and it was morning, birds were chirping about…” Again you can get free sounds from online sources like’ FreeSound’ and ‘Free Music Archive’

5. Edit: Now that you have some audio ready with suitable background sounds, you need to balance the two and also edit the recorded audio. Remove the unnecessary pauses or background noises in between lines, lower the volume for background sounds to make sure the spoken text is audible clearly. All this can be done in Audacity effortlessly. It may take some figuring out but it is not difficult or complicated.

6. Compile to a friendly format: Once the edit is in place and it sounds OK, it is a good idea to have a few people hear the thing before you finalize it. Once all sounds right, save the entire audio file into a user-friendly format preferably MP3 so it is easily played on most devices and players.

7. Publish: Now that the hard part if done, it is time to publish your audio book. You can choose the same platform as your eBooks for publishing it or have a hosting service like ‘Soundcloud’ host your files from where people can access it easily.


Get your vocal chords cleaned up and get started. Let me tell you recording your audio book will be a fun experience and the potential marketing edge it can bring to your ePub is pretty good. Give it a try and give it your best shot, and who knows you may just have the next best Audio Book ready to hit the shelves.